Ride Away, Ride the Wave

intuition, Small Miracles, Soul heartedly

I woke up in a fog– a fog of overthinking something I have overthought for such a vast time period that for most would seem unnecessary. For me, it’s always dwelling on the intense original life purpose I have energetically paved for myself to the extremity of falling into a black hole after the of not taking action upon my own intuition in perfect timing last year. It’s had many pitfalls, and has become my best method of self-sabotage. For the past two years, I haven’t been able to discern whether I’ve been grieving my self-proclaimed life purpose, a person, or an idea of a person. Having conversed with Spirit in writing the night before, I asked for guidance into a more positive current situation that would bring about clarity. Perhaps rather something more along the flow of the current that would get me out of my head.

I had almost forgotten about that intention when I headed out to Natural Grocers in search of a yoga mat and some fruit. My yoga mat was a torn-out disaster, and I really needed to do some yoga. I had the fortune of running into a friend who told me she’d give me a new yoga mat for free… which, of course, was a divine opportunity I couldn’t easily pass up. When I got in line, I noticed that a friend I knew from yoga and repeatedly crossing paths –for the past nine or so months– was behind me. I told her about my recent dog-sitting gig, to which she responded,

“I could use you for dog sitting, because I’m going to Mexico to swim in some cénotes and maybe find some traditional healers to talk with,” she paused in optimistic contemplation, “Unless you want to come with me.”

So despite the wildly painful overthinking that has been my habit for so long, I booked the ticket to Cancún the next day with little hesitation. I tried to ignore the slight anxieties I held about losing possessions during flights to foreign countries, and just trust that it would be a good, smooth experience. As it would happen, we were both sending intentions of a smooth trip into our journey while conversing with angels, and so that’s exactly how it transpired.

I packed very few possessions with me; the bare minimum of clothes that would get me through the four days of our journey. I began to become aware of the pattern of following my breath, and really breathing. I’d recently come to the awareness that I hadn’t actually been doing this… and that this has been the main source of obstacles that I have experienced throughout life. Taking away months and years of true fulfillment. In order to regain this lost sense of self, I was going to need to actually start breathing from the depths of my heart and soul… and it isn’t easy, because this brings up various instances in which I must, time after time, come to terms with my Truth and how that truth is working out in this lifetime. I was coming to know that Life listened to me so long as I was nurturing my own Spirit with breath.

We sat in the airport eating fruit and drinking coffee at five a.m., having a spiritually fulfilling conversation. I was so grateful and amazed that of all people, having planned this less than a month in advance, I would be joining Sadie on the venture to Valladolid and Tulúm, Yucatan, Mexico. It’s only been a destined prophecy for me to return to this sacred, ancient land which feels so much like a second home to me since visiting a traditional Mayan village a few years ago on a college study abroad for six weeks.  In this study abroad course, I apprenticed with a Mayan herbalist and also gathered data from multiple other shamans on the Peninsula. My project at the time seemed so extensive that I knew eventually I’d have to come back to further my passion of studying and practicing plant medicine. Jungle plants are really the most intriguing of all medicines.

When I found my seat in the airplane, my seatmate was getting up to switch seats with another woman. The woman who sat down next to me in the center seat was relatively familiar looking, and we instantly connected. She was also a blogger and began telling me the themes of the entries on her blog… which were all coincidentally in alignment with my recent experiences and current process of life. The one she explained most in detail was the one on grief– not necessarily the death of a person, but rather the death of an idea of some significant life purpose one may have an attachment to, so now must find an alternative life purpose. Our next seatmate who entered was tall, gangly and handsome and he was also a blogger. We told our stories of synchronicity and unity, finding meaning beyond coincidence in human interactions. Our conversation was loud and bright, overcasting all other sleeping passengers on flight 71. When we were served plastic cups of water, I made a toast to synchronicity.

The familiar yet exotic aura of Valladolid was comforting and enticing as Sadie and I entered it in the rental car. Even the scent of this traditional Mayan city warmed my heart and comforted my soul. We navigated the series of one-way roads towards the hotel, which was a magical cove of jungle plants and antique brick walls painted in ancient Mayan-Mexican styles. Shortly after arriving, we walked the village streets towards downtown, asking for directions from other visitors in Spanish. However, we quickly noticed that those visitors were the only other tourists to be seen.

To be among the Valladolid villagers and immersed in this culture with Yucatecan aromas steaming from every other door we walked past is a beautiful thing. To take in this culture fully without the extra perceptions of any other foreigner is to take it in clearly in a new sense that nobody has yet discovered. Like first impressions: to be looked upon for the first time without hindrance of a third party is to see clearly. To smell clearly, and to think clearly.

An exuberant energy vibrated from every carefree child and into the air of the Plaza, which reflected any other Yucatecan Plaza with their historic fountain centerpieces and white-stone loveseats along the edges; tall shadowy trees, and the enchanting sound of the Spanish and Mayan languages escalating in laughter. We ate at a traditional Yucatecan open-air restaurant with neon colored lights penetrating the dark evening air. In any Yucatecan meal, I most look forward to the homemade cornflour tortillas hopefully cooked on limestone (“kal”), and so was delighted to have an entire stack of them sitting in front of me covered in a creatively patterned hand-woven basket.

After sleeping in a beautiful silky hammock which I swore somehow changed colors from yellow to pink overnight, I awoke to roosters reminding me of the sacredness and the calm of which I was simply a part of being in this foreign land. Breakfast was the finest and simplest of foods: fresh fruit and fresh bread with local coffee, black.

We walked around town for a few minutes in the morning sunshine upon which everything seemed to dazzle and everyone seemed to be so content, so simple. Though work for the artisans daily in their shops is not so simple as they would have it seem, each shop owner at every storefront was beaming a smile of welcome. There were women setting up a market on the sidewalk full of vivid vegetables and fruits; the girl offered me half an orange which I gratefully savored. Sharing flavors of the culture.

We set out in search of some cénotes after collecting some directions from the hotel on which ones might be best. Tunneling down the roads outlined with jungle trees was such a restoration to the soul… bringing greenery and refinement to all its hidden aspects, as jungles of Mexico always have a tendency to do. Descending down the steps into the cave, it was a cool and mystic atmosphere. We were the only two swimmers in the large cenote, granting us freedom for spiritual and physical healing in the magical, deep waters. Catfish occasionally could be spotted. Birds fluttered in and out of crevices within the stone walls. I spent time floating, reflecting in one specific pool illuminated by strong rays of sunlight, making visible the depth of the cenote. I asked for a clear answer, and as I emerged out into the hotness and newfound clarity of the day, a multitude of butterflies in varieties of different colors fluttered around my face.

There is only one other natural resource, in my opinion, that has more healing power than a cenote– and that is the Ocean. Before arriving in Tulum, we made a stop at the ruins in Coba. I was reminded of my song I started writing, in Spanish, the last time I had been in Yucatan. We sat on a log and connected with the roots of this land, the ancient mysticism of the Mayans and secrets of the Sun which they held. I purchased a hand-woven dreamcatcher with an owl woven within the center. Just being present here, I could sense the humidity of the Ocean and the mysteries of the Mayans pulling me in further to their homeland.

As we drove into the village of Tulum with the windows rolled down, the air was vibrant with exuberance and joy that only a special place such as this would exhibit– something particularly magical about the warm, clear waters of this coast. We settled into the cabana loft with shimmering dark wooden floors. Next, we walked through the village radiating with love and humidity, a shimmering happiness that could only be found on a coast such as this one… the street signs displayed messages in segments: “If not now…” “When?” Though it was a touristy atmosphere, everyone seemed perfectly content. Exiting the car, we made our way to the beach and walked on the sand to the cabana loft.

I pulled out a book to read on the beach for the first night, but soon couldn’t contain the urge to run along the coast. I started out running, inhaling deeply the warm, humid, salty air. This was my first trip to the beach in nine years, and to be near the water felt so liberating to the soul. I paused occasionally to step into the water and allow the waves to wash over me, cleansing my heart and mind. I sent out healing intentions through the palms of my hand, directed into the ocean to be washed up on every other shore in all directions. I ran all the way to the opposite side of the coast, to which I couldn’t count the number of miles and instead was only blinded by the sunshine shimmering across my skin. I observed all the people who were laying out along the beach, soaking in the vastness of this sea and sky.

The full moon on the last night was radiant and shone upon the dark waves of ocean. Along with the sound of a wedding DJ playing rock ‘n’ roll tunes and the aromas of the finest seafood in the near distance, the atmosphere was magical and inspirational. The intentions I had cast were now pouring into my own being and radiating along the atmosphere of all other beings. I was absorbing the beauty and magic of this land as it was absorbing me. This was the most peaceful setting on such a full moon… one in which I could remember myself and forget all other false perceptions, especially while swinging on a wooden swing overlooking the ocean.

I was carried back from this ancient, tropical land with a state of clarity and renewal; a sense of strength obtained from the ocean. My normally constricted nasal passages were suddenly clear, and I could breathe life in to such a greater state of fullness. I stared out into the morning waves of the ocean for awhile before departure. I awaited the newer, much clearer state of living that I was about to enter upon returning to the Colorado snow. I remember striking up conversation with two elderly passengers who resembled family members of mine on the shuttle back from the airport. We talked about living in the area and found we had some mutual connections in the music community and also commonalities in areas of living. The energy upon arrival was evident that life was changing for us in positive ways– big ways.

I reminisced about the sun and the people I encountered during this journey, and would reflect on bringing that energy into the everchanging, sometimes terrifying, uncertainties in my life to move forward with, despite the “grief” of my missing piece of my life purpose that I somehow felt motivated to restore… no matter the cost. I am an octopus with multiple paths in front of me out of not simply seeing the way out of my own dark hole I’ve been digging. Valladolid and Tulum were quick sources to the light of connection and simplicity of living. Who else knows one to be afraid of living large? Is it the fear of uncertainty we are dealt with, or the fear of being free and bold?

 

 

 

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Trust at a Crossroads

creativity, intuition

The Universe has been telling me that I’ve been at a crossroads for about a year, or rather stuck on a stone that I’ve finally become strong enough to lift, if even a little ways, and now have allowed the stream of my own life to move forward with or without the weight of this misunderstanding.

Many songs have come out of it, and so I often wonder if this is the ultimate purpose. There are many souls who have tried to save me from my truth, as have appeared in dreams multiple times to hear me plead saving from the truth of my intuition… or consequences. I knew, deeply, that with my lack of understanding there was going to be a deep consequence either way.

No matter how hard I let go, I am learning to still trust my own feelings and also the Spirit. I must dedicate this post to the strength of the Wise Owl Spirit, and also Source. I have been absolutely bewildered at the messages that have come through while I attempt to speak my own truths… whether this has been in the form of a literal owl messenger coming to visit someone I still held words of loving truth for, or in the dream state of a trusted friend confirming this message of what I still needed to do!

The other day, I saw multiple signs from Spirit letting me know what action to take. Whatever pops into your mind at the first sign of a possible signal from Spirit, this is the action you must take. Sometimes we are hesitant or doubtful about taking such steps, which I am learning is normal and perhaps even necessary. I have especially been bogged down by doubt, multiple times, but each time I ask a question, I am inevitably led towards a very clear answer from a Source definitely of more importance than my own ego.

When I asked, “Please assist me in trusting that I should really be taking this action,” after I saw the first signs at a stop during my “road trip”– at the next stop, I pulled in front of a Colorado license plate with the last digits of 111. 1’s are always a sign of reassurance from Source, as I have been bewildered to find proof of with the owls and the thoughts or words that are reflected whenever the time is 11:11 or 1:11, etc. I still had some fear about taking the action. As I was pulling out, I passed a car pulling into the parking lot with a license plate reading, WHY NOT …

Well. Sharing all of this may affirm that perhaps I’ve been carrying a little too much uncertainty and fear for too long, but if I were to tell you the whole story you would be better off with a few cocktails on board. Maybe if I’d simply been consuming more B vitamins and ashwaghanda at the time…

So even in a state of utter doubt and confusion… I have learned that worry is simply unnecessary. Possibilities are that in somewhat confusing connections, there were only misunderstandings that need to be confronted and healed. Follow your own truths, and you will be assisted by the Spirit. Try not to take yourself so seriously, though. Surround yourself with people who laugh to enhance your own personality, especially when confronted with facing the darker issues of life. I am so grateful for the presence of the multitude of hilarious people who have so naturally entered my life to assist me in doing this, in a much less serious way.

Often times, it is difficult to shift your perspective about certain circumstances, problems, or people from a dark state of mind to a brighter one. You may find yourself questioning what the crossroads you are facing actually implies…

But regardless of uncertainty, I am learning to move forward no matter how difficult it is on the mind. Finding one thing you know for sure will help move you forward in life is best to focus on than anything that is uncertain. However, you mustn’t be so obsessed or anxious about moving forward in life… any action you take that is meaningful to you or other human beings is always the best thing to do when the opportunity arises (when the Spirit moves you) and it is the best thing for the World or yourself at the moment. Write these things down, confirming to the Greater Source your goals that you will be assisted with after writing. Sometimes immediately.

The most important lesson I’ve learned is that when making decisions, even if they seem like the most daunting thing you can possibly do, is to trust the breath whenever the opportunity arises. The most effective, real results will come out of following your breath. Every breath. Don’t forget to breathe. We are all constantly in a state of support from the Universe, and we are connected with all the endless magic It has to offer through nothing more than our breath. The breath is what ties our threads of destiny together.

Don’t let the dragon eat your stars- reclaim them with the power of trusting your own breath. When we trust, we don’t have to worry that we are a single person sailing on an isolated boat in the middle of the ocean. We are, in fact, all one. We are a part of something much bigger and vast, and when we feel something and have the urge to do something about it, we can remember that it is not only us feeling this… it is something part of the Universe pulling us together for a purpose. Just remember that you are not your labels, not your ego. You are your spirit, and when you are called to do something, just do it. (Hence my song, “Do You Remember”.)

Also remember that not everyone else is quite in tune with their own spirit selves, which could reason your hesitation… but when the moment arises, it is best to take a chance rather than allowing your mind to be overcome with snakes, spiders, or dragons.

Focus on the butterflies and dragonflies of the Spirit self, of the breath. Free the Self.

Life is a castle of open doors. Don’t focus on the ones that have closed. They may open again at a different time, but in the meanwhile, look for the treasures inside every other open door you may encounter.

Dreaming Prophetically, Profusely

intuition

When a song doesn’t immediately come of such a profound statement, a blog post must arise as an adequate substitute.

In such short, fleeting encounters that I have with customers at my job, it’s quite the miracle that I was fortunate enough to capture this phrase being born into the audible world from my new friend, Christina. While checking out her organic groceries in a rushed frenzy, I’m not sure how we stumbled across the subject of dreaming– and not simply dreaming– but “dreaming prophetically, profusely”. Perhaps the problem is that I shouldn’t flaunt my ability to stare into souls as I noticed that her left eye is half blue and half brown. Nevertheless, she shared with me her divine gift of being able to analyze and  relay answers to real-life daily dilemmas through the power of dreams and trusting our innate wisdom coming through to us from a higher power, aka (HP) 😉 .

Though our belief systems are perhaps driven by different perspectives of divine forces, still equally divine, the lesson I was inspired to relay is the importance of building our intuition by beginning to trust our dreams. I find it also highly important to hang dreamcatchers in as many locations as desirable, especially in the center of the window closest to your bed. I have not remembered my nightmares since as long as I have been doing this. Recognize the fact that your dreams may not immediately blossom into full fruition and sense until you begin keeping detailed track of them.

Eventually, one reaches the state of dreaming prophetically: dreaming of clues to tap into hidden secrets when they occur later on in future waking-world, or possibly even the next day. You can ask your divine source questions to be revealed to you through dreams in order to help you get through any situation you may feel bogged down by. When you do this, you may charge certain gems with intentions and place them under your pillow for vivid dreaming. Even better, experiment with herbal allies known for enhancing dreams such as mugwort, motherwort, elderberry flowers, juniper, etc… I always sleep better and remember dreams after a glass of wine, but trust in the power of herbs first before alcohol. 😉

I have a dream journal in which I document my dreams. I’ve noticed that when I first wake up, sometimes I’m not able to grasp the significance or the vividness… but I have always regretted not jotting them down regardless because I will remember intriguing snippets throughout the day and not remember the whole picture.

Sometimes, snippets are enough even if you don’t remember the whole picture.

Examples of my snippets include:

(1) Snapping open a nettle capsule and drinking it with water. I happened to catch a glimpse of this dream memory that morning, and so I attempted snapping open a nettle capsule but failed, so I simply swallowed the capsule with water. It was my subconscious/ higher self telling me I needed more green antioxidants for detoxification and purification. Without the capsule, it is probably more highly absorbable.

(2) Sticking the world peace sign bumper sticker (a gift) I’ve held captive for at least three years in my art box on my laptop. Perhaps as I’m out writing at a coffee shop like I am today, somebody special will notice. Or perhaps it is an ornament to inspire me to get out my laptop and write more creative blog posts.

(3) A brief spotting of a labyrinth inside a church in my town after asking my dreams how my life could unfold more easily. Walking labyrinths is an act of doing just that. A woman also appeared in this dream, who has appeared before whenever I ask questions. Today, I walked the labyrinth with her and experienced an explosion of highly creative, divine energy. So far, it has been very healing and I can sense greater things unfolding.

(4) A vision of my best friend and I at a beach in Florida, holding a treasure chest full of gold tokens and making wishes with the tokens by throwing them into the sea. Today– (apologies for the misuse of ‘today’, as this entire post has been written in so far three different days which distorts your perspective of time… but time is a false concept, anyway, right?) — I called her to ask if she was going to Florida this summer. It happens that she is currently there this moment, and she suggested I get a ticket to visit her while she’s still there. This is very possible and I may be able to do this next week.

Sometimes dreams will give you hints of what you should or could do to enhance your life… the next day, or into the future. But if you ever get into a stuck crisis, remember that you can always ask your inner divine self what the next movement or action should be. I have always received accurate guidance, or foresights into events that end up happening in the future which I can later reference to a certain dream to find meaning.

Resistance to following your intuitive dreaming- especially if you decide to ask your dreams and then refusing to follow your own guidance- may cause confusion, weariness, feelings of stagnancy, and lack. This, however, can be a very enlightening– though very painful– path to take. If you’re ever in this state, try to be still and notice what memories come to mind. Any dreams? It wasn’t until I felt I was clawing at the cage that I had the courage to act upon certain dreams that I knew would get me out of that hole. Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams. Follow them out of curiosity, and keep a journal of what happens. As long as the intention is out of curiosity rather than fear, you won’t steer yourself wrong unless it feels utterly wrong to take any action towards it.

Christina’s last words to me in our previous encounter were, “Dream on, and be blessed.”

If you follow every dream, you might get lost…

Remember to be here now, not lost in your mind. But still begin to recognize the divine miracles that can occur and WILL occur if you are brave enough to follow your positive inspiration you receive through the sleeping state.

 

Becoming the Stream

Soul heartedly

If you’re afraid, do not fear. You are not alone.

Everyone’s afraid of something. Everyone’s afraid of words. Everyone’s afraid of love. Everyone’s afraid of success. Everyone’s afraid of truth. Everyone’s afraid of rejection. Everyone’s afraid to dream. (Well, maybe not everyone is afraid to dream, although it is a terrifying concept). And it’s really hard to keep moving forward pursuing your deeepest desires when we dwell within such a fearful mindset. It’s really easy to “go with the flow” and try to forget about your fears and remain in a place of stagnancy, stuck on a stone in the river with water cascading past you, without you.

And there you remain plastered to an ancient, cold, lonely stone… growing mold and trying to tell yourself you’re at peace with your mind and your heart. Well, this is a great place to be. Sometimes it’s the only place to be, because moving forward with or without the fear might disrupt your comfort zone and cause so much anxiety that you could die. You don’t consider the option that you could become the stream, that you are the stream and always have been the stream.

Be aware. Be aware that anxiety is not your own– that possibly anxiety exists in everyone because we are all human (except a select few coming from distant galaxies reincarnated in human form, of course– but even they have to learn to overcome fear), and this is the reason we’re all in a lonely place of fear and rejection and not extending our power into the Earthy realms nor the ether! And perhaps our personal fears are reflected into worldly fears (politics, weather, wars, etc)…

However, this is not a story in which words are the answer. This is a story of acceptance and understanding that if you feel you’ve done all you can do, maybe you have. Then ask yourself, is this something you can really live without? Is this something you CAN find in another form? If the answer to either of these is yes, then leave the situation behind to be recycled into something even better.

Sometimes we don’t overcome our fears in time, but this is only because we must learn from our fears. We must recognize the growth process around such fears, bringing us into a new state of confidence and courage. From this place, we CAN move forward and overcome anything we want to overcome in order to be wherever, whoever we want to be. The good thing is that if we don’t die of our anxieties, whether we face our fears or not, we are inevitably guided towards a better place in our lives to which eventually, fear of a certain situation will literally evaporate and we will have a magical revelation of the truth.

Sometimes there are mistakes we make, and sometimes we talk ourselves into the extreme of saying, “There are no mistakes so I must be in the right place at the right time, and I must be doing the right thing by following my fears instead of leaping outside my corner of the forest and into the vast ocean of bravery and freedom.

This is also a story of utilizing our innate powers of intuition and following the signs that lead us on, even if we are rejected, even if we don’t receive the outcome we desire. Because the signs are only trying to push us outside our comfort zones and teach us that it is possible to do something we never thought we’d be bold enough to do, because it “just isn’t who we are” to be brave or to be courageous or to act out of love for acknowledgement of self.

We DO have the authority and the capability to take actions towards our truths because we are more than our fears. Even if something we believe in doesn’t matter to anyone else, we must still believe in it because it matters to us. And we have helpers to help us along the way.

Some things you might try to overcome anxieties and begin living your new, fearless, courageous, beautiful life:

  1. Forgive yourself and express gratitude towards those who have hurt you.
  2. Learn about Flower Essences. These can create shifts in something specific you may be overwhelmed with. Flower spirits are close allies.
    1. Red Chestnut~ allows you to love without fear and recognize how your fear affects not only you, but others. (When I began taking this, I was overcome with a sudden slap in the face of how extremely I was causing a disturbance of natural factors by telling myself I was too afraid. After freaking out for a bit, I was sent into a state of clarity and realization of the steps I needed to take to move forward.)
    2. Willow~ denotes some of the anxiety you might feel when it is difficult to move forward.
    3. Mimulus~ an aid in encouragement which pushes you to do things you feel otherwise might be impossible.
  3. Drink more water. Dehydration may be one factor of irrational fears, or so I’ve been guided to say.
  4. Soak in a hot springs as often as possible, or take salt/mineral infused baths.
  5. Omega-3 supplements
  6. Vitamin D + SUN to brighten your perspective
  7. Earthing- aka allowing the Earth to absorb your worries as you lay on the ground or walk barefoot
  8. Trust the process.
  9. EFT Tapping.

Still, you must know that you are strong enough to speak the truth of your heart to others, to do what you believe in, to stand up for yourself– to express yourself in any necessary way– in exactly the condition you are. You have the power and the right to do these things despite your fears, anxieties, sinus problems that cause speech problems, dialect, accent, mental fog… despite your insecurities, the perception that you’re overweight, that your face is too red or too dry to talk to anyone today, despite your chronic sinus congestion, your oily hair, the fact that your feet hurt, that you don’t feel free because you’re deprived of the sun… despite your age, the color of your hair, your height, and any other weaknesses.

You still have the right to do whatever you want, wherever you are and however are you currently, because nobody requires you to be perfect. We all know that when we have a seemingly perfect day, we can count on something to go wrong the next. Yet we find beauty in it. We find a way to move forward and believe in ourselves because we matter. We are matter, after all, and nothing is out of place. We have our own beliefs and ideas for a reason. All we have to know is how to trust the process.

® Camille Garcia, 2017

We ARE the Missing Threads

Soul heartedly

If anyone has ever told you, “In order to be loved, you must first love yourself…” and left it at that, I want you to recognize that this is a very dangerous and melancholy mindset to dwell within. What does it mean to love yourself fully, and how is it humanly possible to grow into a space of self love if you believe that you are unable to receive love from others if you don’t even know what it means to love yourself? I want you to know that it is extremely difficult to feel isolated in the world, cut off from support for fear that you are being judged for your imperfections, which represent proof that you don’t fully love yourself (right)?

Love is not something we can do alone. We are all the missing threads that complete one another, and if we become so absorbed within our own heads that we become blind to the outside beauty and numb to the outside energy that is yet a vital part to our being. So if anyone has ever told you this, they are probably not lonely only children and have never truly been in a place of extreme isolation and desolation. And yes, both of these things are only illusions… but they can become so real in the physical world if we truly believe we have to conceal our love within ourselves, solely.

Love has to be reflected, whether it is in the eyes, in energy, in clear lakes, in the stars. We have to realize that we’re part of all of that. I have learned that others’ perception of selfish love leads one down a desolate path plagued by ego. The egotistic mindset haunts you, whispering all your imperfections and insecurities to you through the gusty wind.

What we must learn to do is expand our minds to the external beauty and cultures and how this is a total reflection of us. What we see in the eyes of others: the anger, the beauty, the cosmic illumination, the ever-changing colors, sparkling blue oceans, intimidating red hues as real as the core of Planet Earth– these are all reflections of what we have within us. And we have to learn that these are all safe qualities. We have to learn that living life to the fullest means making mistakes and consciously not following rules staked down in our paths. That we cannot exist for ourselves, because without knowing others and without knowing the world and the outer worlds, we have no way of understanding ourselves in the least bit.

Because if we release the anxieties of our personal lives and expand our minds even further into the Universe, we might realize we are an essential part of all of it. That the Universe exists in all of us, and for us. And the we exist for the Universe, that we are the Universe. We are whatever we want to believe. We have more power than we think. And yet we think too much.

Most importantly, we must realize that there is a multitude of magical beings desperately hinting their love and attraction towards us, frustrated that we still don’t recognize that within ourselves despite our constant strides towards “self-love”, still blinded by the fog of guilt and not being perfect yet. We won’t ever be perfect as we perceive it, but in the eyes of many complimentary beings, we are so perfect as we are. Some are even blind to our self-perceived imperfections because they see us as their own beautiful reflection. Not only are external factors a reflections; it is two-sided. WE are a reflection of the Universal, Godly magic and beauty in everyone else if we can see ourselves this way.

Most importantly, love has to be reflected in words. You need to understand that you are so beautiful as you are even in your imperfect health, facial flaws, inconvenient setbacks, etc… and that so many people are already placed in your path, eager to love and accept you for all of that whenever you allow them to. Loving yourself is accepting yourself for all the beliefs you lock down deep within, accepting that everybody has insecurities that won’t be resolved no matter how hard we try until we surrender to acceptance. 

And accepting that nobody else we love will ever be perfect, so we must learn to love beyond the flawed perceptions and into Truth and wholeness of oneness.

®Camille M. Garcia (2017)

 

Healing the Disconnect

Abstract Essays, Uncategorized

There are 7.5 billion inhabitants of Earth, and yet I believe it must be the loneliest planet in the Galaxy. As I sat alone examining my thoughts on a wintery night as I have most of my life, I found myself questioning my physical existence– and I am sure there are still many others out there pondering the same thing. I found myself questioning the authority of my feelings and my words- where they were going- as I was in a state of desperation and nobody would respond. If I could estimate the percentage of times my heartfelt messages of whatever form have been left unresponded to, I would estimate about 85%.

This reaction, or perhaps a lack of reaction, strung me into a state of being not only resistant– but utterly terrified to reach out to any of the connections I perceive as meaningful. So in this state, I begun searching for external signs to pave my path. I had not been following my heart out of fear, and for explainable reason: I didn’t know if my heart had authority to connect. I’d been searching for answers and meanings everywhere, and was tired of trying. There were times when I felt I’d been sent into a deathly coma in which my soul was dying. I was tired of dying. In this time, I had no other option than to quit. I could no longer manipulate the ways of the Universe to attract someone or something into my life; I could only surrender to the silence and loneliness and just be.

If you have ever been here, it is a lonely and sad place to be– and yet also a revolutionary place. It is one in which one’s heart finally breaks out of a state of numbness inside a cage and into one of recognition that you really are alone in this life, even though, “we are all one”. Finally, my heart broke lose into hard sobbing- something that hadn’t happened for awhile. I could feel the deprivation of chemicals and minerals in my body affecting my mind, with the knowing that simply being in physical contact with others would change this and I wouldn’t have to spend so much damn money on supplements and treatments if I could simply have more human contact, naturally. The word “depression” crossed my mind. But I don’t like being depressed and helpless because although sometimes I may not feel supported by others, I’m an optimist and I’m constantly in communication with the cosmos. I like to search for the answers, wherever they may be. Perhaps my tears ignited a more positive chemical reaction and caused me to draw information from the akashic records of the Earth. Maybe I was alone; but I was alone together with another body of beings who also perceive themselves to be alone.


The loneliness I was feeling was not all of myself. I knew I must have been feeling the loneliness of Earth. Mother Nature also longs for human touch. She longs to feel our caress. She longs to feel our feet upon her core. She longs to heal our wounds. The answer on that day was writing. As I found myself wishing I didn’t have to be in existence since all the people I care about most don’t have time for my words or my presence, I asked why I was still here. If I was still in existence, there must be a reason. And there must be somebody out there listening. Then I recalled a confrontation I had with a curandero in Albuquerque this fall. At the time, I couldn’t perceive any direct relevance to the words he told me, but I listened. The words that came to mind this day were, “We need you here. We need your words. You’re supposed to write about what we’re doing to each other.”

I have done nothing but perfect my physical being, taking the repeated advice from others that: “You need to learn to accept yourself, because if you don’t accept yourself, nobody else will.” Somehow I tried to turn this advice into something valid, and overtook years of spiritual growth practices with a goal to accept myself and become more confident. I was tired of trying so hard to be perfect, though. Nobody is, right? We don’t need to spend any more time worrying about what might be wrong with us. Nothing is wrong with us. We must see the sad truth about our disconnected society that we live in, and we must accept that as an answer. I physically didn’t know how to go on alone, and yet I was so terrified and anxious to reach out for help because of my past experiences

The writing revolutionary has changed my perspective on life, although I have postponed publishing this for too long. I hope my purpose is to become a person able to feel once more, and to receive and give and love like I haven’t been able to. I am worthy of unconditional love from myself and from others, and so is everyone else.

Why do I have the authority to speak to you and receive a response? The unresponse rate I receive is so high that it has sent me into a state of being not only resistant in all forms of communication, but absolute fright and extreme anxiety. I know we’re all busy, but we’re tearing each other apart. We’re clawing at the threads that bind us together, unintentionally. We’re creating an unsafe place for our fellow humans to be, one of fear and fright for simply expressing the simplest things on our minds. If there’s a reason you won’t ever be able to respond to somebody, whether they are close to your heart or not, you need to tell them precisely why that is. There needs not be fear involved; however, because some reaction and reciprocation is a better response than none, and will prove to be less detrimental to mental health.

Things we can do to heal the disconnect:

  1. Cut back on social media. Deactivate your Facebook or Instagram accounts for awhile. You can always get them back whenever you need them, if you do, because they never really disappear. These are not real forms of connection. Use the time you spare by reconnecting with your intuition and innate telepathy with other humans: who is it that’s calling and needs your support? Is there somebody that’s been crossing your mind that you’ve been ignoring? This is likely not a coincidence. Our minds are connected and this person is calling you from afar, but is afraid to reach out! You must reach out to this person in physical form.
  2. Take down your television. If I have ever rented a space containing a TV or a microwave, I have disconnected it from power for multiple reasons. Yes, electronic emissions are harmful to our health and disruptive to our sleep patterns. Furthermore, this is living in either a fictional world or a vamped-up negative version of our real world. What is real to you? Do you think you really have to take on the entire world’s problems and wars at once, single-handedly? Is this an excuse that you’re constantly busy? If you are taking action and consuming your time with changing multiple distant causes, this may be rewarding and bring about a multitude of positive karma. However, this may also activate more anxiety and worry for you which can consume your time, when there are others nearby who might be needing to talk.
  3. Cut back your work hours. Forty hours or more is really an extremely detrimental amount of time to spend indoors. So find another job outdoors. Seriously. You’ll figure it out; it won’t be the end of the world. We need more time to meditate and act out of a place of love rather than extreme fright that our words aren’t being received. We need one another. Mother Earth needs us. Volunteer at a garden center, or wherever it is in your particular environment that needs your attention.
  4. If this isn’t “possible” for you yet and you are unable to immediately break free of a long-term limited mindset, at least find the time to connect with nature once a day by taking a walk and contributing elements to the air, (especially walking barefoot when possible), visiting an art gallery reflective of nature and/or human spirit, and making it a priority to acknowledge and express compassion to every soul you encounter.
  5. Forget about “energy vampires”. !!! If you are one to push away those with “negative energy” (aka those who are depressed and in need of human interaction)– you are probably one yourself. You’re really not so different as you think. Instead, be kind and reciprocal. You never know. The one “energy vampire” I encountered since my move ended up being the one to clean up my new tattoo with care and give generous advice. If it’s truly becoming a problem, remember to ground yourself in every way and use healing protection in whatever form resonates most with you. Let your friends know that they are loved, and when you can’t reciprocate every word, suggest that they journal before speaking.
  6. Reconnect with long-lost friends and family. It was as though you’ve both completely thrown your memories into the void of potential nonexistence for as many years as you haven’t contacted each other OUT OF FEAR that you weren’t worth the time and the other was probably busy. Guess what? Love never dies, and you ARE worthy of friendship and time out of someone’s day– especially if your intention is only to make it brighter! Please explain to me, if you disagree, why you might be a burden in someone’s life if you dare to ask a question as simple as “How are you?” Or even better, to more deeply heal the wounds of disconnect, say exactly what’s on your mind. “I love you and miss you, and I’ve been thinking about you this week!”
  7. Just be real. Sometimes it doesn’t feel safe to express what’s in your heart because of fear that it won’t be reciprocated. Do it anyway, because this is a powerful way of healing the void and changing the world of communication we live in. Even if someone doesn’t know how to respond to something so heartfelt, perhaps this will send them on a journey to healing the numbness in their own heart in order to receive this kind of love. This is what my journey has been. We want to be real, we want to heal. “I want to live/ I want to give/ I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold… It’s these expressions I never give/ That keep me searching for a heart of gold/ And I’m getting old”/ (Neil Young)
  8. Invite a stranger to go out with you. For coffee, for dinner, to a rustic bar, to an exhibit of some sort. You can make it as weird as you want, so long as you’re serious about wanting to get to know this person, whomever they may be. Perhaps you’re sensing a serious connection for some reason you’re dying to figure out, and you should! You could have been related in a past life, be connected by several degrees of separation, share multiple passions, be living a parallel life… If this is the case, trust your intuition and speak what’s on your mind.

Life can be magical when we are open and reciprocal of our truthful words and passions. Life is magical when we are compassionate. Connecting with nature instead of technology can help us all with compassion and intuition, because this is what our world truly needs right now. I feel that the world is in a lonely state of desperation. Don’t ignore her… attune yourself and be attentive to her needs. Everything is a reflection, so in doing this, I would encourage you to notice all kinds of positive karma in exchange for caring and loving the Earth.

Namaste,

Willow

Wise Mountains

Uncategorized

If you place yourself in the mountains during the rarest, most golden fall; you must not forget that the seasons change and that winter comes. And yet, nothing can defy the everlasting beauty. No matter the season, you must learn to appreciate the mountains for all they are: for the herds of baby elk crossing the highway, for the frozen lake, for the winter sports you see others participating in but you don’t, for the snowplow pileup that causes inconvenience to you when it happens to bury your car and you must dig it out.

I acknowledge that’s what I’ve been doing with much of my time here: digging myself out of polluted snow pileup that has built upon me since childhood. Here, I am referring to self worth and being worthy of stepping into my own power and my own truth safely. I am in a supported landscape if nothing else; being surrounded by mountains gives a slight cushion. It provides a feeling of disappearing into my personal winter and eternal change without anyone to interfere- though this does become a lonely stage.

I’ve allowed my fears and worries to evaporate and become absorbed by the pines. It’s reinventing myself while finally breathing air with ease. Though I’ve believed I deserve to achieve all my desires after less than three months of living here, I must also acknowledge that I’ve been overcoming things I could never have overcome living elsewhere- and I’ve done all of this myself without any consultation. I’ve managed to resolve my sinus inflammation and shallow breathing, which gives me much clearer direction and clarity into all aspects of my life. I’ve been able to control compulsive and irregular eating habits, simultaneously managing millions of food sensitivities and maintaining a vegan (with eggs) diet. I’ve overcome fatigue and exhaustion through diet and spiritual cleansing, giving me boundless energy no matter how long the day is.

The mountains are fearless, courageous, confident, and bold. Some of this energy has rubbed off on me, and I breathe to simply become part of my surroundings. It has changed the structure of my brain- waking up to pines nestled under golden sunlight every morning greatly affects all areas of the brain. It has changed the sound of the music I make, it has changed my name, it has changed my perspective of myself and it has changed my heart. Perhaps my heart is another organism I’ve been digging out of a snowplow pileup. I never did lose myself; it was only my heart that disappeared from my body for awhile and has now come to surface.

Things surface and you must confront them if it’s somehow meaningful to you. The Plains may not be a safe place to do this, but the mountains always are. And of my list of intentions I came up with when I pulled my destination out of a box, I have accomplished seven, all of which I didn’t have three months ago! I have established my intuitive community, become acquainted with Bear Creek and its endless magic, found reiki support, a few people to play music and sing with, freedom of expression through the throat chakra, controlling my health, and being surrounded by genuinely happy people.

I’ve been asking questions and searching for answers everywhere, only to come to the epiphany that something, somewhere, will always answer you back.. but sometimes, the answer doesn’t come in the shape or form you expect. However, when you’re really listening, you will always receive an answer– and you should always follow through with whatever you are currently being given, otherwise your life may remain stagnant in a similar state of suffering. I’m seeing now that my answers are coming to surface sooner than I would have even asked, and that it is fulfilling enough to know that I am being heard by someone as I am guided towards constant support.

The mountains are mysterious in this way; it is a feeling that you are closer to communion with spirits of any good kind. And although sometimes you may not love the answers you are seeking, you must love the mountains for their constant support and guidance and inner wisdom.

Neediness: Plot Twist

Abstract Essays

You move to the mountains because you think you need to restore your energy. You go because you didn’t find what you were looking for in your hometown and you weren’t enough for anything or anyone there. You go to the mountains pleading for answers for your needy, desperate soul. Constantly you beg God and the Universe to send people to you so you’ll be satisfied. You search from town to town looking for people to heal you. You feel so deprived, so desperate for these people and landscapes and then so discouraged when, one day later, you can’t seem to find the answers written clearly in front of you.

You need an anchor. You need somebody to be there for you in your times of need (which is always). The need is so intense, so urgent that you conduct a private ceremony to manifest your solutions right here and now. Why wait patiently for the right timing in the future when you can just as easily control the outcome of your present? You feel confident stepping into your own power. The answer will come, you say, tomorrow morning if not NOW.

However, you’d almost forgotten how God, the Universe, and the Cosmos work in absurdly strange and mysteriously ironic ways.

You wake up in the morning prepared to go out in the world and manifest the solutions to all your needs and desires. You’re dressed to the nines with your newly inherited yoga suit- PLUS an extra dress to stroll the sidewalks of downtown after you’re finished with your yoga sesh in the ever-renowned studio a few miles south. This is it: the day you find exactly what you were looking for. The day you finally manifest your life partner and eternal sunshine and nine kittens, and an everlasting zest for art and creativity that cannot be killed off by anything- sickness, rodeos, or Donald Trump.

Plot twist.

You’re taken aback when, halfway out the door, you receive a text from your friend. A friend! You know, the one you met right here in your new mountain town. But you don’t necessarily know how to respond to texts in such a frenzy, so you call instead. Turns out, this friend has been throwing up consistently since 4am and tells you she’s desperately in need of someone. Living a little too high up the mountain and miles away from town, she needs someone to bring her electrolytes to restore her energy. She’s desperately in need of healing.

Of course, you want to help, so you run to the store and purchase all the essentials she needs to rehydrate. Beforehand, you followed your intuition and packed along the crystalized ginger and holy water that happened to fall off your shelf just as you were leaving. You thought you might as well utilize these in the healing session.  When you open the door to her cabin, you’re greeted by the most beautiful kitten that reminds you of the one you left with your parents back home. Your friend is so miserable she can’t even drink water. “There’s nothing anyone can do to help me!” she cries in desperation.

But you know this is not true, as you feel that the power of love energy can heal anything. You also know that you are certified in reiki, which can be very powerful, so you offer this assistance. After the reiki and Recharge and holy water, your friend feels much better and is no longer heaped in a fetal position on the floor.

While you’re here, simultaneously experiencing the power of love and its healing effects as well as angelic guidance, you receive a voicemail coming in later than it was recorded from another friend that you’re supposed to meet for lunch down the hill. At that moment. (The message popped up later than it was recorded because there is no service where you are currently located.) Now that your friend is doing better, you’re able to speed down the hill and arrive to your lunch appointment albeit forty minutes late.

The meal is more than satisfying to your physical hunger you’d forgotten about. It was exactly what you’d been craving all week, and finally on a Sunday you are able to fulfill this desire! And you’re sitting in a sheltered patio underneath the sunshine in January! Your conversation with this other new friend is spiritually satisfying. After lunch, you’re invited to her home where you are greeted by another precious cat- this one reminds you of the very first cat you ever had. Something in the conversation you have here catches your attention. You catch your friend saying, in comparison to another scenario, “…just like I needed someone to toss things back to, like we did at lunch today”. This new friend needed you there on this day, too.

At this point, you’re kind of getting the hint that everyone here’s in the same boat. And maybe you didn’t need the mountains after all, and maybe the mountains actually needed you.

This becomes even more evident when, upon your return from town after a refreshing solo hike around the lake at dusk, you receive yet another phone call. This time from a number you recognize but never saved as a contact.

“Hi, this is Sara,” the voice says as you frantically unplug your headphones so you’re able to talk. In the midst of this chaos, you both immediately begin the conversation with laughter.

Long story semi-short: you have a brief history with this name you’ve never met. Her sister called your work looking for her and you’re the one who answered. Apparently ‘Sara’ used to work there, too, but nobody knew her. A week later, you stumbled into a shop you had a dream about visiting. The owner, who for some unknown reason believes you need a new place to live even though you’re perfectly content where you are, asks if you know ‘Sara Parsons’. A familiar light flashes in your memory. This is the exact same name you heard a few days ago when her sister called your work looking for her!

Whoa! This wasn’t even the same town we’re talking about! And ‘Sara’ lived in a town forty minutes away from the shop– how is this conversation even logical? So you took this as some sort of sign. You’d been texting this lady about her potential room for rent even when you weren’t looking for a room, and now she was calling to figure out if you were actually interested. You confess the entire story from her sister to the shop and the town she lived in, figuring this story has to be 60 miles long but you sum it up in one sentence. You both agree it’s a little strange.

Yet the conversation flows so naturally that you immediately begin discussing the most personal issues in your lives, forgetting you’ve never before met in person. Turns out you’re both on the same path to self worth but you actually hold some important information to Sara’s blockages, and know exactly what words of wisdom to hand down to her. You’re completely confident at this point that you were the one who needed to give constructive criticism for the betterment of this stranger’s life. In 33 minutes, you discuss signs from the Universe, work history, future hopes, toxic home environments, unhealthy relationships, being stagnant in bad situations, flower essences you both should be taking, Kate’s Magick anointing oils, and the paint color of your rooms.

You plan on hanging out Tuesday.

Yes, you needed the mountains… but this is precisely for the reason that the mountains were desperately in need of you.

And when somebody or something needs you, you realize that your needs no longer matter and feel filled with purpose. Your desires are naturally fulfilled without having to conduct ceremonies to manifest them. (Did I mention Sara has seven cats? Count the number of cats mentioned in this post and it will equal nine, just as I subconsciously predetermined in my sarcastic list of needs in the earlier paragraphs.)

To be continued…

Day 14: I-25 NM Decisions & Conclusions

September Retreat

September 29, 2016

By this time, I knew I’d obtained an overwhelming amount of positive new experiences, befriended a vast variety of new people, and achieved a greater sense of intuition than I could have ever fathomed before my experiences. All those minerals floating around in the dry air and all those warm smiles and bright, wise eyes I encountered had such an impact on my spirit along with my life perspective. As I drove north, I could feel those threads of destiny that pulled me to Silver City had not particularly been attached to the land itself, but rather to the people. Particularly those people who happened to have gravitated to Lora’s house during my journey.

There were just too many options at this point, and for some reason I still couldn’t withstand Silver City’s wind and dark skies frazzling my thoughts. I realize, now, that I must express gratitude towards these plentiful options and opportunities handed down to me in not only one, but every place I went. God and the Universe/ Universal God had been abundant with grace towards me throughout this 14-day trip so far. I could not express any complaints, even when I was faced with the minor underlying health issue that has a tendency to bog down my energy levels at the perfect timing.

I believe this minor health issue causing fatigue is more of an intuitive awareness test, letting me know when something needs to come to an end. For example, it’s been very assertive in indicating whenever I should end a job and start something new. And if it’s not fatigue, it’s a cold (like when I resisted the urge to move out of my apartment). This time, I was being encouraged to take with me my new skills and assets I’d gained from this venture and head back north.

I left with impactful embraces from Lora, Laura, and Rob, and equally impactful words of wisdom from all of them:

“Just remember, you don’t have to have your whole life figured out right now. You’ll probably end up doing lots of jobs and projects and travel ventures in your life, and that’s okay.”- Rob

“I hope you feel pulled by something divine.” -Laura

“Don’t take yourself too seriously.” – Lora

It was especially hard to leave these three people, but they were all leaving on their own separate journeys in the following days anyway. At first I thought maybe I’d show up in Albuquerque to rest and maybe stay for a portion of the hot-air balloon festival. As I was driving, I didn’t feel that was a necessity anymore although I’d fallen in love with Albuquerque’s people and culture and could have stayed the full year. I was craving water. Some kind of water landscape that is more lush than the desert, perhaps where the rivers flow?

Finally, I surrendered to faith and made a deal with God and myself: Whenever my knees get too stiff and the sun begins to set, I’ll settle. 

Lora’s repetition of my own words came to me, “Remember, don’t take yourself too seriously.” Not permanently. Well, I mean, if the place seemed like a good, magical match for me then I would have. So I drove as far north as I possibly could, first diving as far south as I could to avoid the mountains this time to Las Cruces instead. The wispy clouds and the hard-rugged mountains were unbelievable to me. I’d never seen such projected shapes in nature before. For some reason, I felt like stopping at a Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage just because I was craving something familiar in the southmost part of my journey.

The scape of Las Cruces was uncannily familiar to me as it resembled Casper, Wyoming… and by driving with the intention of finding Natural Grocers as though I were driving in Casper, I found it intuitively in less than five minutes. I was so happy to set foot in this place that felt like home to me, and experienced the urge to shop for everything; however, I didn’t exactly need anything or have the capacity to carry produce back in a warm car. (If you are reading this and care to read my next post, this has a significant point.)

There were places I passed along the way that were originally on my list of destinations (i.e. Taos, Santa Fe). Even writing these two places brings joy to my fingertips. They are still in the sphere of possibilities. But like I said, why present myself with even more opportunities where of course, they could work out, and I would be forced to choose?

Maybe you’re thinking, “What’s wrong with her? Why can’t she just fall in love to end her story and make it easy on herself? Why does she try so hard choosing this solo wandering lifestyle?” similar to what my grandfather inquires frequently. Well, you can “fall in love” in any town you wish. I’ve found this especially true since I’ve met many parallel lives to people I knew before. You know- same eyes, same soul. I think the ones that are harder to see doubles of are the ones who are of yourself, since you are one of them and this decreases the odds.

However, if the resistance to fall in love still persists, this indicates you must still travel further and continue learning more about yourself. Maybe the truth is that you already know everything about yourself before you begin your travels, but there are more ample opportunities to see yourself in the eyes of others whom you don’t see on a daily basis where you normally reside. And perhaps you are a stubborn old soul, old as a hummingbird petroglyph, who won’t simply settle and in fact has no idea how to, which eventually becomes a burden to both yourself and those around you. So there you go: the truth in a nutshell in the middle of this essay.

I stalled in some towns and pondered the mysteries of this side of the desert state, ending up in Las Vegas, NM as the sun began to set. I pulled into town and marveled at the bushiness of the trees and the sharp rays of sunlight pouring through their branches; at the children playing in the yards; at the townsfolk laughing with one another. This particular neighborhood residential area was beautiful and reminded me Cheyenne’s historic downtown.

The sun was still too bright for me to settle, though I knew this was an ideal town to stay in for the night and my over-thinking mind led me straight to all the budget hotels.

So for another unexplainable reason, I kept on driving. I glanced over my shoulder to the left as I was encompassed by the majesty of the San Luis Valley of my ancestors to the most breathtaking soft-blue hue over the mountains and the Plains -esque valley. The cool colors in the clouds cast an array of lovely light into the land. I wanted to stay in Wagon Mound, where my grandfather was from, but quickly realized there were no hotels and possibly no inhabitants at all in this town. While I was there, I drove up to the “mound” overlooking the graveyard where I’m sure many ancestors lie. The lighting at this time of day was enamoring.

Taking the advice of my aunt whom I called since she had just been in this area the day before, I drove forty miles north to Springer, New Mexico. I was perceiving this to be near the border of Colorado but it was not quite that way in reality.

The colors of the sky were deepening, casting a fearful vibe into my already-tense body. I drove past two motels on the short, very rundown main street and then finally spotted one that appeared somewhat intriguing: a painted adobe called Broken Arrow. By this point, my knees were definitely aching stiffness to a near-extreme degree.

Tense as I was from the drive, I came off as skeptical and irritable to the owner who was still gracious to me. I asked him where the closest place would be to pick up something to eat, and he replied, “Probably about four miles out of town… unless you want to eat roasted green chilis and tortillas with us out back!”

I gave in to this offer that seemed too good to be true, as I could smell the aroma of green chilis roasting in the crisp evening air. While I attempted to unlock the door to my room  Jay’s wife, Frances, came over to point out I was trying to use the spare key to my cousin’s house I accidentally stole from her in Idledale, CO (near Evergreen). I was actually impressed and proud of myself this had been the single thing I’d forgotten throughout the course of my journey! With my scattered mind, the average rate would have estimated at least one item left behind in every stopping point. I had multiple methods of returning this to my cousin, but this was obviously signifying the key to something I would later figure out.

I tasted chilis of varying spice levels with the owners, their son, and their family friend. In exchange for the chilis and tortillas, I brought down my guitalele to play for them. We built a fire to sit around and had warm discussions. I agreed to come back for the infamous Bean Day festival in Wagon Mound, where people who originated from this area. Montana happened to also have family from Wagon Mound. We assume this is where life on Earth apparently originated, now left mysteriously desolate in the middle of the San Luis Valley. We spoke about the linguistics of New Mexico. Everyone here had such a familiar, comforting dialect to me and this was because it was that of my dad’s family.

“Thank you for being here. Thank you for… just you,” they said.

Singing, talking, eating chilis, and laughing around the fire proved to fulfill my journey’s end. I felt full near the end of it. I was feeling in sync with the Universe… and during this visit to Springer, New Mexico, it became clear that hummingbirds and butterflies were not the only wild creatures I was in direct communion with. Immediately when I mentioned cats flocking to me in every location I went, a wild cat came running to the back porch, meowing passionately and relentlessly as though she’d heard me talking about her behind her back.

The  fullness I felt was more because of the pure sincerity of these people I’d just met, I was sure. This was yet another instance in which I felt I’d formed family connections in a foreign town with a population of 1000 this time, so practically half of it.

But it was true about the cats: throughout my journey I’d become acquainted and somewhat attached to around 30 cats. After time around the fire, I was able to console this wild, lost cat wandering around frantically in search of something. Her meow was loud and relentless as she paced back and forth. When she ran to me and allowed me to hold her, it was a precious moment. I  was so tempted to take her with me; I knew we were so much alike in many ways and would make great companions for one another. In the morning, I could still hear her meowing.

Day 11: Truth or Consequences, Hillsboro, Kingston, Silver City

September Retreat

September 26, 2016

I did make it a point to stop in all of these places. Secretly, or maybe not so secretly, I had been scheming to relocate to Truth or Consequences or Silver City because of a vivid dream I had about the area. I thought that perhaps I’d succeed in escaping the wind, dreariness, and cold weather of Cheyenne, Wyoming for the winter.

The drive from Albuquerque to Truth or Consequences (T or C) was, in fact, very vivid although much drier and drearier than I’d anticipated. I couldn’t say I wasn’t warned about the intense energies of T or C or the beautiful view over Emory Pass just beyond. Stopping in Truth or Consequences, I immediately caught onto its ghostliness. I knew from the history that many ghosts do reside here– but the people I spoke with were all genuinely happy and friendly, so I assume they are not hard to get along with. The sky was densely overcast and wind was abundant- not so divergent from any small, ghosty Wyoming town.

My first impression of this town differed drastically from that of a store owner’s first impression. Her reason for staying in this small town for over thirty-five years began with the sight of a happy dog laying carelessly on the side of the road as she first entered town, wagging its tail to greet her. Soon afterwards, she drove past a cowboy and an Indian slapping each other on the back, both with guns in their pockets, laughing gaily. This conversation also comprised of this woman’s entire life story, and I believe this was the highlight of my brief encounter with T or C. I’d been wanting to soak in one of the many hot springs there, but the suppressive weather and energy of this particular day was too strange for me to stay.

However, the blue hue of the rugged mountains was just as vivid as I’d imagined. The alternative interpretation for this dream, as I suspected, was simply that if I had not dared to venture this far, there would be consequences. What I could not have foreseen was the significance of “truth” in the name. It would only be later in my journey when I would come to an epiphany about this…

The woman I spoke with advised me, with an instinctive gleam in her eyes, to head over the mountain instead of taking the freeway so that I could stop in Hillsboro and Kingston. “Just buy a bottle of water or something so you can step out and get a sense of the culture in these towns. They’re very eccentric and worth knowing.” This reminded me of a similar, long conversation I had with a market owner in Palisade– the same instinctive gleam in her eyes. She’d even written down for me the same landmarks in these towns I was now being directed to again .

As I came over the mountain and into Hillsboro, I pulled over by the sole Post Office although I had a feeling none of these four businesses were open on Tuesdays. As soon as I opened my car door, I shrieked in astonishment at the recognition of a CHEYENNE CAR passing by me! I’m positive I would have personally known whomever may have been inside the car, as I saw them throw their hands up in similar astonishment. This town was literally in the middle of nowhere settled into a desert mountain’s foothills, total population 124, and not another car in sight. What are the odds?

The clouds had not made any reassuring moves by the time I made it to Kingston, NM- just below Emory Pass- giving the atmosphere an unsettling and wearisome vibe. The roads were windy, and though apparently there were only about 60 miles to go, it seemed at this rate like it might be never-ending. I pulled into the infamous Blackrange Lodge, a landmark both new acquaintances had suggested. I stepped inside to an eery air and creaky floors, dusty furniture and dim-light edges. A telephone rang loudly, cracking the silence and stillness.

“Oh, hi, Mom- how are you?” It was a woman’s voice, and somewhat a relief to know perhaps ghosts and dust mites were not the only inhabitants of this lodge.

I’d wanted to stay and talk, maybe acquiring some concealed answer to the mystery of why I had been directed here. I didn’t feel like interrupting the conversation, so I quietly stepped out into the cool early-afternoon air.

I opened my arms to the expansiveness of the Gila National Forest when I mounted the viewing point of Emory Pass, exiting my car for a moment to do so. The remaining drive was downward and windy, passing the Gila Cliff Dwellings and the City of Rocks. Mysteriously, hauntingly beautiful.

This was not what I’d been expecting. What I’d been expecting, perhaps, was more of a tourists’ appeal. More color, more amenities, more people. What I received instead was a sense of realness of this southern New Mexico land: a brutal honesty was nestled in the ancient pines and cliff dwellings. I’d heard word of various wild hot springs littering the entire forest, which was enticing to me and I would have attended them alone had it not been for pressed time and poor sense of direction into the unknown wilderness.

My sense of direction was actually improving with uncanny accuracy throughout the course of the venture so far, but I’d been too far away from my homeland to notice any such changes.

Eternity rolled around before I finally set tires on the city limit I’d been so intent upon visiting for the entire year. I still had hills to climb yet after reaching the limit, and couldn’t see the city. When it became visible, it was not anything I’d imagined. The clouds were even darker, the air was even more intense and unwelcoming. I came to realize this was in part because of the minerals of St. Rita’s Mining Site blowing around in the wind. In all honesty but with no disrespect to the city, it was not beautiful like I’d heard from many references. Already I did not meld with the flow of this city; it had more of a frazzling effect on my spirit and body.

Or so I thought. I felt exhausted when I arrived at my host’s house. I drove back and forth past it at least four times before finally recognizing the entrance down a gravel path. I walked up the steps, trembling with angst from the drive. The door flung open as I mounted the porch, and a woman with long silver hair greeted me with a  warm smile and a bow, “Welcome, Camille. Namaste. My other guests are also writers and musicians who are looking forward to meeting you.”

I walked in to meet Rob, a writer, who was on the same path as mine (originally, anyway): on a mission to complete his novel which takes place in New Mexico. We talked for awhile about the parallelism of this, and the process of writing. He was working and traveling with his wife, Laura, who was a professional jazz singer I would meet later. One of my unspoken, lost dreams is to be a jazz singer.

Lora, our host, talked to me about my journey and also brought up the Black Range Lodge. “Did you meet Catherine?” She mentioned Catherine is always looking for help and that Lora herself worked at this lodge for a few months. This lonely lodge could have been a job opportunity for me had I not been so unimpressed by the area’s solitude and overcast skies. I did contact Catherine about work options and live music, and she agreed that sometimes crowds of guests would like to hear live music if I was interested in performing that weekend. I wasn’t able to, but I was beginning to see the formation of a future music tour through New Mexico.

I rested in my room until nearly 6pm, then headed up to Pinos Altos for open mic night at the Buckhorn. This is something I’d researched the day before in Albuquerque and was excited to see I would be able to attend on a Monday night. While everyone else in the world was absorbed in the first 2016 Presidential Debate, I was in the highlands of a desert mountain town at a historic bar with eccentric paintings covering every square inch of its walls. It was raining, nearly freezing.

Classic country music was reverberating from the man in the corner as I walked inside- Johnny Cash and other old classics. I sat at the bar and ordered a bowl of green chili. Green chili is something to savor at any location in New Mexico, especially when one is shivering from the cold of late September. The two characters a couple seats down on either side of me at the bar were questionable conversationalists, making me feel a little on edge of my barstool. I was grateful when, after half an hour, the host and previous performer of open mic sat down next to me. He reminded me of two people I know from my mother’s hometown, making me feel more at home.

We watched the next performer, Gene Booth, apparently coined as “New Mexico’s Country Music Legend”, take his place on stage. His music was reminiscent of what I imagine the old Spanish polka-folk songs my New Mexico family used to dance to must have sounded like. Maybe that was just my imagination at first impression… he did also sound very similar to Johnny Cash and George Jones. It was a rare treat and comedy to watch him perform.

When I began singing my set, I watched all the customers of this restaurant and bar set down their forks and glasses to listen. I was in awe of their intent observation of my fingerpicking style and my voice. I watched positive gossip circle each table, some describing the range of my voice in hand motions. Some made eye contact with me and smiled, nodding their heads. It was a special moment, as they had not done this for the previous musicians (likely because these two were regulars). I felt accomplished after this short set, though the crowd was diminished more than usual this particular night.

I talked with the remaining performers and friends of performers. One described Silver City as “the melting pot of misfits”. The people I met here were all truly unique, from all walks of life. Not many people, I learned, were originally from the town. They’d come in from a variety of different locations for different reasons. They are the ones who make this location an authentic, artistic, and open-minded place to live.

It was interesting, but not what I’d expected out of a place that had been calling for a few months. Maybe I wasn’t giving myself enough time, but it was initially clear to me that my life path did not require the immediate relocation to southern New Mexico.